Wood Characteristics

Drying Effects

Air Check

Air Check
  • Occurs early in drying process if too much moisture is removed from the outer portion of the lumber before the inner portion has lost moisture and shrunk
  • Shown in Red Oak with air check or surface check

Honey Comb

Honey Comb
  • Not natural, but common
  • Occurs when kiln temperatures are raised before the lumber core moisture has been lowered sufficiently
  • Example shows end grain and lumber ripped in half to expose the severe interior honeycomb

Shake

Shake
  • Also called ring shake or wind shake
  • Caused by bacteria weakening the area between growth rings
  • Bacteria may have a vinegar or rancid smell prior to drying
  • Shown in Red Oak
  • Flatsawn portion shows typical shake
  • End grain portion shows ring failure

Splitting or Cracking

Splitting
  • May occur in any wood type
  • May be minimized by proper end coating of logs or lumber before drying
  • Shown in Red Oak